Combined associations of body mass index and adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: A cohort study

by Karl Michaëlsson, John A. Baron, Liisa Byberg, Jonas Höijer, Susanna C. Larsson, Bodil Svennblad, Håkan Melhus, Alicja Wolk, Eva Warensjö Lemming


It is unclear whether the effect on mortality of a higher body mass index (BMI) can be compensated for by adherence to a healthy diet and whether the effect on mortality by a low adherence to a healthy diet can be compensated for by a normal weight. We aimed to evaluate the associations of BMI combined with adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet on all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.

Methods and findings

Our longitudinal cohort design included the Swedish Mammography Cohort (SMC) and the Cohort of Swedish Men (COSM) (1997–2017), with a total of 79,003 women (44%) and men (56%) and a mean baseline age of 61 years. BMI was categorized into normal weight (20–24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25–29.9 kg/m2), and obesity (30+ kg/m2). Adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet was assessed by means of the modified Mediterranean-like diet (mMED) score, ranging from 0 to 8; mMED was classified into 3 categories (0 to Conclusions

These findings suggest that diet quality modifies the association between BMI and all-cause mortality in women and men. A healthy diet may, however, not completely counter higher CVD mortality related to obesity.

Paper source
Plos Journal

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